A PET/CT scan is a powerful diagnostic test that combines the metabolic activity of a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) exam with the anatomical images from a CT scan. This combination has a significant impact on the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
CT scans are helpful in detecting and localizing disease.
PET is highly sensitive in diagnosing certain diseases at an early stage.
By combining (fusing) the CT and Pet images into one scan the location of the abnormality can be pinpointed.
Why is pet performed?
PET/CT is most often used to diagnose and stage cancer, as well as to determine how a cancer is responding to treatment.
More specific reasons for PET/CT scans include, but are not limited to,the following:
● To detect the spread of cancer to other parts of the body from the original cancer site
● To evaluate the effectiveness of cancer treatment
● To diagnose dementias (conditions that involve deterioration of mental function), such as Alzheimer; disease, as well as other neurological conditions such as:
○ Parkinson's disease. A progressive disease of the nervous system in which a fine tremor, muscle weakness, and a peculiar type of gait are seen.
○ Huntington's disease. A hereditary disease of the nervous system which causes increasing dementia, bizarre involuntary movements, and abnormal posture.
○ Epilepsy. A brain disorder involving recurrent seizures.
○ Cerebrovascular accident (stroke)
● To locate the specific surgical site prior to surgical procedures of the brain
● To evaluate the brain after trauma to detect hematoma (blood clot), bleeding, and/or perfusion (blood and oxygen flow) of the brain tissue
● To evaluate the perfusion (blood flow) to the myocardium (heart muscle) as an aid in determining the usefulness of a therapeutic procedure to improve blood flow to the myocardium
● To assist in the management and treatment of lung cancer by staging lesions and following the progress of lesions after treatment
● To detect recurrence of tumors earlier than with other diagnostic modalities